Ascutney Mountain Trials | My Family Travels

 Our camping adventure began the night prior to the actual excursion. There were four of us. My girlfriend (Kristen), my two best friends (Dan and Matt) and I, all wanted to go out camping at the suggestion of my significant other. She insisted it would be a walk in the park considering she and her father had gone so many times. The first and lasting problem with this, was that it was all of our first time camping without an adult's supervision. Coupled with our individual schedules and how they conflicted with each other, we almost scrapped the plan altogether. 

 
Chace/Myself: Has to take care of animals for the night during the late afternoon at the earliest. 
Dan: Had to work from 4-9pm
Matt: Had to take his dog to the vet for a noon check-up, and really didn't know when he would get home. 
 
We pulled it together, though with an idea of a pre-camping setup. My girlfriend, Dan and I, went to the Ascutney Mountain Campgrounds, where we would stay, early. We set up Kristen's massive sixteen person tent and the general campsite, and headed home. Dan went to work, and as it would happen, Matt came home earlier then he had predicted.

We stayed put until the day had matured to a point where my poultry wouldn't bake in the afternoon sun, and, with Dan at work, the rest of us went shopping to stock up for our night, and blow a little time waiting for Dan. Kristen showed off her grill mastery by cooking us burgers from the frozen patty stage. It took a try or two to obtain the correct rarity, but she succeeded in making a  good burger nonetheless.

We lit a few mosquito-repelling candles once it started getting dark. It was at that point that we decided we should start a fire. It was shortly after this point when we realized that Dan was still in possession of the kindling and would be unavailable until he got our of work. We were determined, though. We had plenty of tinder from the surrounding area, as well as the wood pieces I had brought from my household's winter supply, just nothing in between, and no way to safely split the larger pieces.

For those who know cars, it was like trying to shift from 2nd to 5th gear. It won't happen easily, but it's possible to the point where we tried it anyway. We had a couple of situations where we had a decent blaze, but the fire was always too weak to catch the larger pieces ablaze. We must have exhausted all the pyromaniac methods we could think of before Dan finally showed up. Using his tinder, we got the fire roaring and the marshmallows blazing in no time.

We talked further and in our boredom created and cremated a paper crane. We named it Steve Maximus, for whatever reason, and make jokes. Looking back, though, it reminds me not of an inside joke, but of the rite of passage it represented. Sure, we made mistakes; some of the eggs I had brought were boiled already and wouldn't scramble, we also didn't realize how cold the nights would get. There are too many to mention all of the little things, but we had fun in the process. The innocence that that crane gave off was just another symbol. I started the trip doubtful of our success, but discovered after that the troubles we encountered, the pride of accomplishment, and the memories we shared made it all worth it. 

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